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Jellyfish Stings and your child. What’s the best solution?
The Backstory (Click here to scroll to the solution)
In 2018 I decided to move to the Carolinas from the Northeast. My daughter was three years old and already very confident in the water. We would visit the back often, and she loved playing in the waves while we stood close by.
In all our years going to Cape Cod and the island, we did not encounter many issues with ocean wildlife. We would hear about an occasional shark sighting but never any issues.
When we moved south, we started to hear about Jellyfish. Parents at our child’s preschool would say how bad they were at the time and seem to come and go in waves.
Unfortunately, I tend to learn things the hard way, and as we played in the waves one beautiful May afternoon my daughter had her first run-in with a Jellyfish. Her leg was red, and she cried with pain. As a picked her up, I could see the Jelly floating close by where she played, and I did not realize they could “Float” this close to shore.
Later I came to learn this could have been a dead Jellyfish that had drifted to shore. The sting from the dead Jellyfish was just as painful as a live one.
That day we noticed many other children getting stung by the Jellies. This pied up the beach patrol and lifeguards to tend to the stung children. From that day on we embarked on a mission to create a solution to this problem.
After chatting with many parent groups and discussing with various doctors, lifeguards, and experienced parents, we gathered solutions ranging from using a credit card to scrape the sting to even urinating on the spot.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in urinating on my child for many reasons.
After many months of research, we landed on the best solution we could find, and it was right in front of us the whole time.
The Best Solution for Jellyfish Stings
Most sources explain that certain steps with various items will stop the pain in the short and long term. After our extensive research and trials, we landed on an age-old solution, and they are outlined in these four easy steps:
- Step one is to use salt water to rinse the area. The stingers embedded into the skin often do not start firing until they are out of the water. Rising with salt water first cleans the area from sand and allows the stings to slow the process of transferring the small amount of venom that creates the pain.
- The next step is to properly remove the stingers. If you notice clear “pieces” sticking to the skin. The best solution here is to pull each piece off using tweezers. Some websites say to use a credit card, but this could embed the stingers even deeper and prolong the pain.
- Step 3 is to apply vinegar. Many argue that vinegar does not do much to stop the pain, which can be true depending on the severity of the sting and the person. Vinegar has been known to stop any remaining stingers from doing their thing. Let the vinegar sit for 5 minutes before moving on to the final step.
- The final step is to apply anti-itch cream to the affected area. Hydrocortisone cream works the best. The hydrocortisone cream helps numb the area and alleviate any itching. Let the cream sit for 5 minutes before allowing your child to continue with their beach activities.
After these steps are completed, you can allow your child to roam free and, if brave enough, get back into the water.
We have created a kit for this if you are looking for an easy way to gather all the steps into one easy solution. You can purchase this with Prime 2-day shipping on Amazon here:
Or you can purchase the kit directly on our website, and we will donate $1 to our local aquarium to help save sea turtles and keep our oceans clean
As a precautionary measure, having your child wear a long-sleeved rash guard is recommended before returning to the waters with jellyfish. If you can find swim legs or some sort of swim pants they can wear it will also protect their legs. For some reason, the stingers only fire if they touch skin and do not fire if they touch non-organic material.
If your child has shortness of breath and seems like they might pass out or has pain causing them to scream and cry uncontrollably, then seek immediate medical attention.
These steps do not apply to Portuguese Man-of-War run-ins. These stings are much more severe and might require medical attention.
These statements also have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
For each sale on our website, we will donate $1 to the South Carolina Aquarium.